Solomon Abegaz of the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) and co-principal investigator of the African Chicken Genetic Gains (ACGG) program in Ethiopia, fills us in on the progress of ACGG activities in Ethiopia.
The key activities to be accomplished by ACGG Ethiopia are baseline surveys of chicken production systems, on-farm and on-station testing of chicken strains, and facilitating the formation of a public-private partnership for production of selected strains of chicken at the smallholder level.
Training of enumerators and supervisors to conduct the field work of the baseline study has been undertaken and survey on 1260 households in five regions (Addis Ababa, Amhara, Oromia, SNPPR and Tigray) has been completed.
We also aim to import fertile eggs to produce chicks to be used for on-farm and on-station tests, but this has been complicated by avian flu. It looks like it will not be possible to import a certain breed from France into Ethiopia, due to a recent outbreak of avian flu, and the danger of bringing the disease into Ethiopia.
The second innovation platform (IP) meeting took place at the end of March 2016. Stakeholders at the meeting identified the main accomplishments since the first meeting and agreed on new action areas for coming months including the procedures for:
- Procurement of fertile eggs of four exotic strains.
- Production of adequate fertile eggs from the local genotypes.
- Hatching of the eggs to produce adequate number of chicks for each strain.
- Conducting on-station evaluation.
- Training enumerators for on-farm testing.
- Dispatching chicks to brooding facilities in each of the regions.
- Dispatching six-week-old chicks to the villages where the on-farm testing will take place.